The weather phenomenon known as El Niño can cause dramatic effects around the world. Henry Fountain explains where it comes from.
Watch the video and fill in the missing words in the transcript. The activity is suitable for intermediate 2 students.
The phenomenon called El Niño can (1) ... weather (2) ... around the world. In 1998 it caused devastating floods and (3) ... in California. Around the same time, it also caused these floods across the south. But it all started thousands of miles from either location.
Picture the equatorial Pacific. That’s South Asia / Australia on the left and South America on the right. Pacific (4) ... ... normally blow from east to west, pushing warm surface water with them. The warm water evaporates, adding (5) ... to the air and bringing the annual Monsoons to the region.
In the Eastern Pacific, as the surface waters push westward, cold water (6) ... up from the deep to replace it. The cold water helps keep the air and the South America coast dry.
But sometimes the (7) ... ... stop. Scientists don’t know precisely why, but when they do, the warm water moves back east. That’s when El Niño (8) ... ... . The pattern for rainfall is reversed. Australia and South Asia suffer (9) ... and coastal South America is hit by storms. But warm water in the Eastern Pacific causes other changes as well.
High atmosphere winds called jet streams circle the planet. El Niño can alter the (10) ... of those winds, driving Pacific storms to California. As the jet stream winds continue across the continent, they can keep the colder Arctic temperatures at (11) ... . That can make for a warmer winter in the North East and North West. That’s why in 2010 when El Niño once again brought flooding to California, farther up the west coast in Vancouver the Winter Olympics were (12) ... by unusually warm weather. It was all thanks to El Niño.
1 disrupt 2 patterns 3 mudslides 4 trade winds 5 moisture 6 wells 7 trade winds 8 takes hold 9 drought 10 path 11 bay 12 hampered